Sportress of Blogitude

Guys At USGA Center Always Willing To Put Their Balls To The Test

If playing with your balls is what you consider time well spent, you just might be a perfect candidate for a job at the USGA headquarters in Far Hills, New Jersey. The folks there spend all day knocking their balls around, trying to ascertain how to get the best performance out of them on a consistent basis.

One man in particular has turned his love for playing with balls into a lucrative career. Meet Dick Rugge (heh), the senior technical director of the USGA. This guy has been playing with his balls so long, he can practically do it blindfolded and still get a good feel for them.

Saying that the “primary function” of what they do at the facility is “equipment evaluation that determines performance,” Rugge knows that you are only as good as the equipment in your hands.

Although a shy and private person in many aspects of his life, Rugge finds himself recharged and full of confidence by working with other people while trying to get the most out of his balls.

“I like to have people working who are smarter than me,” he says. “I understand what they’re doing, but they can run rings around me.”

Perhaps that may simply be a consequence of his advancing age, but don’t believe for a second that Rugge still doesn’t have a passion for balls. He loves his work and likes to put his hard work with balls to the test with other people, stating that he has “gotten great satisfaction from every job [he’s] had.”

Further, Rugge knows not everybody has multiple balls to play with, so he has even begun experimenting with how men who, ahem, bring less to the table, so to speak – John Kruk and Lance Armstrong, for instance – can still maximize their performance and get the most out of their ball:

“The ball will perform differently depending on the conditions.”

Indeed, Dick. Indeed. Keep up the great work at the United States Gonads Association. Not to get nuts here, but this is one guy who appreciates all you put into your work.

Wait. What? It is the United States Gonads Association, right? Oh man, don’t I feel like a sad sack now.

USGA center puts 2,500 clubs, 1,000 balls to the test each year [USA Today]